The dictionary defines “comfort” as being at ease … so “uncomfortable” is a lack of ease.
That doesn’t sound too bad. There are worse things to feel, I suspect, than a lack of ease.
Why am I boring you with this? Because the school in Mississippi that is denying Constance McMillen the right to take her girlfriend to the prom has used the discomfort of the other students as an excuse to tramp on her rights as a gay student.
In coming to this conclusion, they caused a great amount of dis-ease because, as a result of their decision, McMillen involved the ACLU and the school decided to cancel the entire prom instead of facing the issue.
When we really look at the issue, it is hard to understand why it would be so difficult for other students to deal with this. What is the worst thing that could happen? They might dance together?
Two girls dancing together, yes that hasn’t been seen at Grade 7 dances the world over.
Maybe they would slow dance. That could cause widespread panic among the student body, the sight of two girls with their arms around each other swaying to the music.
The foolishness of prejudice would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad and pathetic.
A great deal of homophobia stems from the simple fact that certain things make people uncomfortable.
Well, so what?
Public speaking makes me uncomfortable, but I know for certain that my lack of comfort in itself has never caused me any personal harm.
If two women or two men show affection in public, maybe it does make you uncomfortable, after all it is outside your frame of reference. But beyond that initial feeling of discomfort there is no long-lasting effect.
It doesn’t cause cancer or brain rupture or any other terrible thing.
I have witnessed people’s discomfort if I hold my wife’s hand in public. They stare and then whisper and that makes me uncomfortable, too, but I persevere because maybe if everyone sees it enough, it won’t be such a big deal.
We ban things in society when they will have a deleterious effect on others. This makes sense. Drinking and driving is dangerous, so we ban it. We don’t let pilots fly airplanes 300 feet over cities because it is dangerous, but banning two young women from going to their high school prom because they might dance together? Well, that is just stupid.